Rahal Letterman Racing replaces driver Simmons

HILLIARD, Ohio -- Rahal Letterman Racing has fired driver
Jeff Simmons and replaced him with Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay will take over the team's No. 17 entry immediately,
racing in Sunday's IndyCar Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car

"We have made important strides in our IndyCar program this
year and we feel like this is something that we needed to do to
maintain that pattern of improvement and growth," RLR co-owner
Bobby Rahal said. "Jeff stepped into a difficult situation last
season and did a lot for our team and our sponsors, but we feel at
this time, that this is the right move for the long-term future of
Rahal Letterman Racing."

Hunter-Reay became the first American rookie in 20 years to win
a race in the rival Champ Car series, winning in Australia in 2003.
He then set a series record by leading all 250 laps in a 2004
victory at the Milwaukee Mile.

But after 43 Champ Car starts over three seasons, Hunter-Reay
found himself out of a ride. He has spent the last two seasons
running part-time in the Rolex Grand American Series as well as in
A1GP competition.

Simmons took over at Rahal-Letterman after rookie Paul Dana was
killed in a crash before the 2006 season-opener at Homestead-Miami
Speedway. After finishing 16th in the season points last year, he
was 15th in the standings this season.